From the New York Observer, word that the failed negotiation between nonogenarian millionaire-not-billionaire Newsweek bailer-outer Sidney Harman and Daily Beast proprietor Barry Diller didn’t actually fail; it seems likely to produce a deal by which Newsweek and the Daily Beast will merge, with Tina Brown editing the whole online-offline shebang.
I think Tina Brown sometimes pursues buzz to the point of silliness, but the jolt she brought to Vanity Fair and then The New Yorker made both magazines relevant to the culture in a way neither had been for a long time. I prefer both magazines under Brown’s successors, but in The New Yorker‘s case in particular, if it’s true the magazine doesn’t make you #facepalm as often as it did under Brown, it’s also true it’s less audacious than she was at her best. It was Tina Brown, after all, who gave nearly an entire issue to Mark Danner’s account of a massacre 12 years earlier at a village in El Salvador.
Anyway. I don’t think the newsweekly format plays to her strengths, but her strengths are extraordinary and the magazine is (if this deal gets done) in far better hands now than under the earnest, weird, boring Jon Meacham. The odds of there still being a Newsweek in a decade just got better.